Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sundays In My City

Wow! Today was awesome. Well, wait a minute, I might need to clarify that statement. The last half of today was awesome. The first half sucked rotten eggs.

The first half of the day included Bob and I fighting like two wild monkeys. Now, this might sound like a normal thing for an old married couple like us but the truth is, we rarely fight. Oh, we have our disagreements but fighting, nope. Except for this morning. It was on, baby. I seriously was so mad that I told him I was ready to get in the car and never come back. Monkeys can be very stupid when fighting over a bruised banana. Yes, I was a very stupid monkey this morning. Sorry Bob. I should have never been so ugly to you. Even if you are a big, hairy ape. I’m just saying …

Now, the second half of the day, well it rocked. Rob & Abbey, our surrogate children, have joined forces with us on this homeless adventure. They had already started off on this project on their own weeks ago, so it was easy for us all to come together. Along with our eleven year old, Miranda, and my prairie chick friend, Jana, we all headed off to the City Rescue Mission around two this afternoon.

 We rescheduled the BBQ due to the snow, which never materialized I might add, and went to plan B. Rob and Abbey picked up fifty McDonald’s double cheeseburgers and we picked up fifty pairs of gloves.

The last few times we did our giveaways, we all stayed in our cars, doors locked and handed the items out our windows. Not today. I mean seriously, if we are going to make any difference, shouldn’t we stop being cowards and get to know these people?

That’s when the amazing part of the day happened. I was able to get out of the car and talk to people. I met men and women who were more than willing to talk and give us direction without realizing that was what they were doing. I made a connection with three women in particular, who allowed me to ask them a ton of questions. They were open and honest and really gave me new insight like never before.

Once the food and gloves were gone, our group went to dinner to discuss the days happenings and what it meant for the next time. I am pretty sure we were all talking at the same time. It was just too wonderful to have connected with PEOPLE. Not homeless people. Just people, like us. People who have the same needs and fears as we do. People who want to connect with us just as much as we want to connect with them. We all agreed on some very important issues over dinner. We agreed that we can’t change the fact that there always have been and always will be homeless people. We agreed that handing items out of our car windows is not enough. What we are called to do is about so much more than giving stuff away. It’s about giving ourselves away. It’s about relationship.

Again, we can’t change the fact that there always have been and always will be homeless people. But what if we can change the number of homeless people to one less?

We spread the word through the streets that we would be back on January 17th, no matter what the weatherman said. We told everyone we will be grilling hot dogs, serving chili and having a tailgate party to get to know them better. We also told the women we will be handing out special goodie bags with personal items just for them.

Life is so very good. Even when you start your day like a stupid monkey fighting over a bruised banana. Life is good.

Unknown Mami


Nanny Goats In Panties said...

You. Are. Awesome. If everybody tried to help ONE homeless person, they would all be helped fifty times over. Kudos to you, my very generous bloggy friend.

Monkey Man said...

I know all about monkey fights. Glad you and Bob survived to do your good deeds.

Katherine Jenkins said...

Marla, I love your post. I'm a follower now. Yes,life IS good because of people like you. What goes around comes around and we are all in this world together, so why not help out in some fashion if we are able. Kudos to you! What do think about being a writer on Writers Rising? If you are interested, drop me an e-mail @ We'd love to have you! Peace, Kathy

gayle said...

I admire you so much for doing did you find the homeless? I want to make a difference this year.

Parsley said...

How very special. I think God calls different people to do different things. He hasn't equipped me with that kind of bravery. I like to be sneaky when I do my acts of kindness.

Thanks for the wonderful post and for keeping it real. No more fighting over bruised bananas.

Oklahoma Granny said...

I was so anxious to read what your day was like. Sorry it started out somewhat rocky but it turned out so awesome.

MindyBB said...

Brrrr...Baby it's cold outside! Stay warm and I'm surprised you didn't do what we have known peeps to do and throw dogs in aluminum foil on the engine block and cook them on the way! Then when you get there cook the rest on the grill and tailgate baby! Now I sound like someone who knows about this and really it was Lain's friends you know me I am much more refined to know anything about that kind of stuff....

Two Shades of Pink said...

I know God uses me mightily when He humbles me mightily. And if it means monkey fighting just to see blessing on the other be it. {Please do not examine that sentence too closely. It could be misconstrued in a way not intended. And I am just too tired to start my comment over}. :)

Sarah said...

how about starting a volunteer center? i'm sure more people want to help. they just need an organizer like you.

Lily Robinson said...

If you make a difference to one person for one minute of their life, you have made a difference. Won't it be wonderful when you hear those words... "Well done My good and faithful servant."

The Lumberjack's Wife said...

What a wonderful thing to do! And sorry about the fight. I hate those kind of days, but I think everyone has them. :(

Sonya said...

You guys rock. You really, really, do. It's one thing to say you want to see change or make a difference, but it's something else to actually go and do it..and you all did.

Have a wonderful week!

honeypiehorse said...

YOu are wonderful. We are friends with a homeless person and she said the worst thing is how people ignore her.

Janean said...

great post...your honesty and how you turned a selfish day into a self-less day. good stuff! now, hand over that bruised banana!

Peterson Family said...

What an awesome way to help people! The idea of a tailgate party is wonderful! I am off to become one of your followers.

Unknown Mami said...

I am very proud of you!

Amarja said...

I am with Sarah! That's what we do here in Amsterdam. A group of people in Amsterdam started to collect projects that need to be done in Amsterdam and we (the volunteers) come over and help. If you want to hear more about this let me know.

justsomethoughts... said...

1. you shame the rest of us.
2. i would volunteer to be a part of your group.
3. you are hilarious.

Cher said...

Hey girl Hugs for New Years had not read since I wrote my sick note hope I did not offend It is in our blood and I wish you lived closer you know I'd be there. Hugs to all Love ya Cher

Marla said...

Nanny ~ You are too kind! I like your everybody helps one idea. Do you think we can make it work? :-)

MonkeyMan ~ Oh, I bet you do!

Kathy ~ Thank you so much! I'll be in touch.

gayle ~ It was pretty easy. Find your local rescue mission/shelter, usually located downtown. The areas are poor and homeless people can be found for miles around that center normally. I would love to hear what you decide to do!!

Parsley ~ I love your sneaky acts. Ok,no more fighting. :-)

Ok Granny ~ You know you were a big part of yesterday, don't you?

Mindy ~ How awful and yet funny is this? Bob swiped a burger and put it on the heater vent to eat. A homeless gal and I caught him with a mouthful. Too funny!

Two Shades ~ You make me laugh!! I like you!!

Sarah ~ Funny you should mention that ... :-)

Lily ~ That is my hope!

Lumberjack's Wife ~ It all ended well so we are not due for another monkey fight for , oh, 30 years.

Sonya ~ Thank you!

honeypiehorse ~ I have heard that from others. How wonderful you have a homeless friend. So, tell me that story!

Janean ~ Dutifully handed over to the big, hairy ape. :-)

Peterson Family ~ Thanks for following!

Mami ~ I hope we meet someday. I truly do!

Amarja ~ I want to hear more and then do it with you!!

justsomethoughts ~
1. It's my Catholic school upbringing. My major was shame.

2. Come on!

3. I am aren't I?

Cher ~ Offend me?? Come on, now. We all know I am the offender in this family.

SamiJoe said...

I have had a hard time commenting today (stupid blogger), but have been trying to come back just to comment on you.
This is a beautiful story.
I commend you.
AND one person can and does make a difference.

Marla said...

Thanks, SamiJoe!